Snapshot of our application and adoption process at Diamonds in the Ruff of Virginia, Inc. (DITR)

  • Submit an application (applicants are prioritized on a first-come first-served basis).
  • Complete a home visit and interview (DITR associates will call to schedule).
  • DITR associates begin a dog search and complete a successful in-shelter screening in collaboration with shelter associates. This meticulous process can take up to several weeks but can take well over one month.  
  • DITR associates identify a dog and begin an In-Home Evaluation (IHE). The IHE period lasts for up to 30 days and includes training, socialization, and evaluation of the dog in the home of a foster or trainer.
    • Schedule a Meet & Greet session - About 2.5 weeks into IHE, DITR associates will get in touch to schedule a 'meet and greet' bringing the dog to meet the potential adoptive family (including pets).
  • Following completion of the IHE period, DITR matches the dog based on information gathered during the in-shelter screening, meet and greet, and the IHE.
  • DITR completes in-home orientation and placement.
    • DITR trainers set dogs and families up for success by:
      • Reviewing individualized plans for supporting health and wellness developed during the dog’s IHE period.
      • Demonstrating commands and routines with the dog.
      • Coaching family members as they learn and practice commands and routines with the dog.
      • Providing detailed reference materials including written plans to support health, wellness, and training specific to their dog.  As an added step to ensure that adoptive families communicate clearly and set fair and reasonable expectations for their dog’s level of knowledge and behaviors from the beginning, we include links to a video library of their dog performing commands and routines with the dog’s trainer. 
    • Complete a shelter adoption contract and submit shelter adoption fee. 
    • Complete DITR Agreement and Release forms and submit DITR adoption fee

* DITR has scholarships for those in need of financial assistance.  Please contact us for further information.

Summary of our application and adoption process

The first step in our adoption process is to request an application. Keep in mind that there are no wrong answers and that the more details you provide, the more accurate we can be in finding a dog that will be an ideal match for your personal needs, desires, and lifestyle.

Once we have received your application we will get in touch to confirm receipt. Applications are reviewed and approved on a first come first served basis. Your detailed answers will be used to develop a profile of a dog that will be ideally suited for your home.  Next, we will set up a brief home visit where DITR representatives will drop in to meet you and your family (pets included). During this visit we will be happy to answer any questions you may have and will further discuss the type of dog that you’re looking for in order to ensure that our profile matches your vision of 'the right dog' for your household.  

Using your 'ideal dog profile' we will begin visiting and reaching out to local shelters in order to identify dogs that may be a match. Once a dog is identified, DITR representatives will perform a brief in-shelter screening to gather basic information about the dog. Screenings last approximately 35 minutes and the first step in our process of evaluating important traits such as connection to people, temperament, and energy level.

Dogs that successfully complete in-shelter screening are accepted into our program for an In-Home Evaluation period (IHE). The IHE period lasts up to 30 days and allows dogs time to relax away from the stress of shelter life and for us to complete basic training in order to prepare them for a smooth transition to their adoptive homes. 

About halfway through the IHE period, the dog’s DITR Foster Trainer will get in touch to set up a 'Meet and Greet' session where the dog will have the opportunity to meet the entire family including people and other pets in the household.

Working with the dogs in a home setting for an extended period allows us the time and opportunity to get a clearer picture of who they are in terms of temperament and health and wellness needs.  It is very important to note that often times behaviors and personality traits that were not seen in the shelter often emerge during this time.  

Each dog’s needs are central to our matching process.  Although we begin screening and evaluation of dogs with a specific applicant in mind, if at any time it becomes apparent that a dog is not an ideal fit for the original household we will turn to our applicant pool to look for a better match. In this case, the original applicant will remain at the top of our adoption list for our next dog search.

Following the 'Meet and Greet' session and IHE period the dog’s Foster Trainer will schedule an in-home orientation and placement visit.  During this visit the Foster Trainer will provide written plans for supporting the dog’s health and happiness based on their time with the dog.  This includes a plan for meeting the dog’s needs in the areas of exercise, grooming, feeding, and routine and preventative health care. Details about games and activities the dog enjoys and any cute or endearing quirks will be shared as well. The Foster Trainer will also review and demonstrate commands and games that the dog has learned and will provide a video library of the dog performing these activities for future reference.

Our goal is to set up our Diamond Dogs and their people for long-term success through a combination of careful screening, in-depth evaluation, matching, placement and follow-up support.  Each dog’s Foster Trainer will check in with adoptive families during the first 30 days of the placement and will provide telephone or in-person support as needed. DITR associates will be available for consultation thereafter.